In the middle of a busy day of campaigning, Kansas Lt. Gov. Tracey Mann visited Traditions Soda and Sandwich Shop Saturday as part of Gov. Jeff Colyer's Get out to Vote statewide tour.
Mann, 41, of Salina, said his team chose to stop at Traditions, 121 Grant Ave., because they like to support local businesses.
Mike Wade, owner of Traditions, said he’s always glad to have people visit his shop whatever the reason.
“If people want to come in here, that’s fine with me,” said Ward, adding that the shop has been visited by five candidates for governor and lieutenant governor just this year. “We like to be accessible.”
Peter Barstad, field director for the Colyer campaign, said Finney county was the eighth county he visited that day, five with the governor and three with the lieutenant governor. The other counties they stopped at included Ellsworth, Haskell, Ford, Gray and Seward.
“Tomorrow, we’ll have the day off. Then we’re back at it on Monday,” Barstad said. “Between the governor and lieutenant governor, they will have visited every county in Kansas within a two-week period.”
Larry Jones, of Holcomb, has lived in the area for more than 60 years. He serves as the district five Finney County commissioner. He said he’s learning about all the candidates and has attended several candidate forums during the past couple of weeks.
“I haven’t made up my mind yet. I’ve got till the seventh, right?” he said, referring to the Aug. 7 primary election.
Jones said he would like to elect a governor who would eliminate the property tax lid.
“It makes our life as a county commissioner not very easy,” he said.
Mann showed up at 4:45 p.m. and visited with the public for a half-hour. He said he and Gov. Colyer would like to grow the state’s economy by lowering taxes and increasing agriculture. He stated the importance of supporting public education, as well as protecting the second amendment and maintaining the status that Kansas is a pro-life state.
He also said that the governor has accomplished several things in the six months he’s been in office, including keeping public schools open in the face of continuing school finance challenges; increasing the credit rating for the state, which means Kansas is on a better financial footing and the state can borrow money at lower rates; and helping and supporting the state’s agricultural sector in many ways.
“We are ahead in the polls," Mann said, referring to the primary race for the Republican gubernatorial nominee, where Colyer's chief adversary likely will be Secretary of State Kris Kobach. "We have the most momentum of all the other campaigns.”
State Rep. John Wheeler, R-Garden City, said that he has not officially endorsed Colyer for governor but he made an appearance for a reason.
“This election is very important for the future of the state of Kansas,” he said. “Gov. Colyer has been very open in working with the Legislature. We’ve accomplished a great deal in the last two sessions in restoring financial stability for Kansas. I believe Gov. Colyer will continue in working with us to improve the state.”
Mann said that their campaign has been endorsed by several organizations, including the Kansas Farm Bureau, Kansas Livestock Association, the National Rifle Association and Kansans for Life.
Caleb Sekavec, 36, of Garden City, was glad to have a chance to talk with Mann.
“I just wanted to come out and support him,” Sekavec said. “I like his values, in general, his honesty and integrity. He’s a man who will stand up for what is right.”